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Self Limiting Beliefs: What they are and how to get rid of them.

Updated: May 23, 2022

Our beliefs are powerful tools. They control what we think is true about ourselves, our lives and other people. Sometimes beliefs about ourself are not true.

These are called limiting self-beliefs or I prefer self-limiting beliefs. Calling them this creates a picture in my head about why they are so destructive.

They cage us and stop us from doing or being our full selves - we are "self-limiting". These negative beliefs are often formed in our youth, and held onto throughout our lives, never having their accuracy challenged.

Examples of Self Limiting Beliefs

Limiting self beliefs sound a bit like this:

"I’m not good enough”

“Who am I to do that?”

“I am lazy”

“I’m too fat”

“I’m not consistent”

How to Get Rid of Self Limiting Beliefs

Thankfully, beliefs can be challenged, and exchanged to a more accurate, helpful alternative. This is the A-F model for Challenging Limiting Self-beliefs (from @animascoaching) that I often use with clients in my coaching sessions.

Activating Event

What usually triggers this limiting belief to show up?


What is the actual belief? Sometimes this might not be the one that is obvious, so may need dig down a few layers.


What are the consequences to your life for holding onto this belief as true?


How COULD this belief be wrong? Are there any examples in your life where you haven’t been [lazy / too fat / not good enough] ?


What positive alternative could you believe about yourself? This needs to be positive and not too far on the opposite side to make it unbelievable.


When and how could you test this new belief for yourself? Try out. Experiment. Get into action. And see what happens.

What's Your Experience of Self Limiting Beliefs?

Do you find yourself limiting what you can and can’t do or be? Maybe underneath those rules is a belief keeping you caged in. What alternative could you believe about yourself to get you closer to the you of your dreams?

If you need some 1:1 support to help find out the negative beliefs you're holding onto, and how to exchange them for positive alternatives, book a coaching discovery call to find out how coaching could help.

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